Last week I celebrated the new WhitneyBond.com in style by hosting an official rebranding party downtown San Diego!
A HUGE thank you to the 300+ guests that attended the event including the real MVP, my Mom 😉 , Claudia Sandoval (winner of MasterChef, you go girl!), Dining Out Magazine, Where San Diego and tons of my loyal, supportive and amazing friends!
This Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash recipe combines a risotto style mushroom barley stuffed in an acorn squash and topped with seasonal vegetables!
Before the New Year I had the pleasure of meeting, interviewing and cooking with Chef Dustin Beckner of Quality Social, Downtown San Diego.
I had the idea to incorporate “Chef Inspired Dishes” into the blog a few months before and after working with Quality Social on several Boys & Girls Club Events, like the Scavenger Hunt this summer, I was able to set up an interview with their extremely talented chef.
I’ve broken the two dishes we cooked together into two different posts, so here is the first “Chef Inspired Dish” recipe for Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash. Also check out the Roasted Chicken recipe here!
Here’s a shot of the ingredients at Quality Social and my ingredients at home. I was able to pick up a couple of ingredients from Suzie’s Farm at the Little Italy Mercato this weekend, which Chef Dustin mentioned is where they get a lot of their produce!
Slice the squash in half, remove the seeds and place cut side up on a baking sheet.
Place in a 350°F oven for 25 minutes.
If you have trouble cutting the squash in half via either strength of arm or power of knife (I think my problem was a little bit of both 😉 ) then place the whole squash in the oven for 10 minutes, remove, slice in half, then place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
While the squash is cooking, begin preparing the barley, risotto style.
Add 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. While the mushrooms are cooking, heat the vegetable stock to a boil in another pot.
Add the barley to the pan and begin ladling the stock 1/2 cup at a time into the mushrooms and barley until the liquid is absorbed (just like risotto!)
Continue ladling the stock into the barley until they are soft to taste, about 15 minutes.
While preparing the barley, put your multi-tasking pants on and prepare the vegetables.
Add 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, then add the brussels sprouts, carrots and pearl onions. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the broccolini and 1/4 cup of water to lightly steam the vegetables. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the spinach and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
At this point, the squash should be ready to come out of the oven, barley should be cooked perfectly and ready to fill the squash and the vegetables should be ready to top the dish!
For the final step, drizzle an additional tsp of basil oil on top, then you’re ready to dig in!
This was my version of the dish prepared at home!
And this was Chef Dustin’s version that I photographed at Quality Social after he prepared it for me!
Hopefully I made him proud with my re-creation of his delicious seasonal vegetarian dish!
Turkey is brined in white wine, rubbed with spices, roasted in the oven, then glazed with cranberry sauce in this cranberry glazed turkey breast recipe.
I was lucky enough to travel back to my home town in Oklahoma to spend Christmas with my family this year.
We had a wonderful time and even got a little snow!
My good friend Michael and adopted member of our family had this amazing apron custom-made for me!
It definitely got me excited to go in the kitchen and prepare our Christmas feast, which included this delicious Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast!!
I made this dish on Thanksgiving a couple of years ago along side my Herb Crusted Turkey Breast and my Mom loved it so much that she specifically requested it for Christmas dinner!
Although you do have to brine it the night before, it’s still super simple to make and only takes about 30 minutes of actual work time to prepare the brine, rub the turkey and make the glaze!
8 cups water
1 cup white wine
1 cup orange juice
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp peppercorns
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3-4 lb. boneless turkey breast
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp thyme
Ingredients (cranberry glaze)
12 oz cranberries
¼ cup chopped ginger
2 tsp orange zest
¼ cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup orange juice
1 cup water
¼ cup orange flavor liqueur
Combine all of the brining ingredients in a large container, then place the turkey breast in the brine and place into the refrigerator overnight.
Remove the turkey in the morning and pat dry, then brush with olive oil.
Next, combine the spice rub in a small bowl.
Rub the spices over the turkey and place in a baking dish. Roast the turkey in a 375° oven for one hour.
In the meantime, prepare the cranberry glaze by combining all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Wait for the cranberries to begin bursting, then stir well and allow the glaze to simmer over low heat for an additional 5-10 minutes.
Strain the glaze with a mesh strainer.
Glaze the turkey breast with a basting brush using the strained cranberry glaze.
Serve the strained cranberries on the side as a cranberry sauce for guests to top their turkey with, if so desired!
Place on a platter with a sprig of thyme and a few whole cranberries for a beautifully presented dish!
This Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast is so flavorful, moist and scrumptious!
Hope everyone had a delicious, fun, happy and memorable holiday season!
Thanks to Emeril Lagasse for the original inspiration for this recipe!
The highlight of my weekend in Phoenix was most definitely the Third Annual Arizona Taco Festival. I love nothing more than the combination of tacos, margaritas, outdoor daytime festivals… and the occasional fake mustache!
The event brought together the delicious taco makings of more than 40 local restaurants, bars and food trucks in and around Phoenix. Along with tacos came music, tequila tastings and sombreros a plenty!
This sombrero was won by a very nice man in a pepper eating contest, we found him after the contest and stole his hat… just kidding! We just borrowed it for a pic! The lovely lady modeling the hat is my friend Amy Black.
We started the day with Duck Mole Tacos topped with Guacamole and Jalapeños from El Hefe.
You know that old saying, “save the best for last”, well I think we reversed it because this was my favorite taco of the day!
Although the next taco came in at a close second, it was the lobster taco from Chelsea’s Kitchen.
Big chunks of lobster with avocado, tomato salsa and shredded lettuce = yum!
I’m not going to lie. We didn’t have one taco throughout the day that I didn’t love!
Next, was the shredded beef taco from El Santo topped with fresh tomato salsa, arugula and cheese.
The flavor of the beef was incredible!
Lastly was the chicken taco at La Hacienda.
La Hacienda was all-the-buzz at the festival, with everyone insisting we try their chicken tacos. The tacos were topped with salsa verde, crema and cheese. They definitely lived up to their buzz, La Hacienda brought home “Reserve Grand Champion” in the taco competition for the third year in a row!
Before departing the delicious festival we did what we do best and found a photo booth!
This event is now on the calendar as an annual must attend! See you next year Phoenix!
On the One Year Anniversary of the blog I made the announcement that I would be adding “Chopped Challenge Thursdays” and “Single Sundays” to the site.
While “Chopped Challenge Thursdays” have been going strong, “Single Sundays” have yet to make an appearance on the blog. I blame this on the fact that I cook like an Italian grandma (meals for 6 or more people!) and I’ve been busy, busy, busy!
But never fear, Single Sundays are here!
This week I whipped up a dish that was quick, delicious and easily prepared for one!
Prep Time: 4 minutes Cook Time: 6 minutes
Ingredients (serves 1)
1 salmon burger
2 tbsp buffalo sauce
1 cup romaine lettuce
1/4 sliced red onion
1/2 tomato (chopped)
1 tbsp blue cheese dressing
Place the salmon burger in a small skillet over medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Flip the burger and brush with half of the buffalo sauce.
Cook for 3-4 minutes then flip again and brush with the remaining buffalo sauce.
Remove from the heat and prepare the salad by combining the lettuce, tomatoes and onion.
Toss with the blue cheese dressing then place the salad mixture on a plate.
Top with the salmon burger and dig in!
This makes for the perfect lunch or dinner for one filled with Omega 3 “happy” fatty acids from the salmon!
Salmon burgers can be found fresh or frozen in most major grocery stores.
At my girls wine and cheese party a couple of weeks back I stumbled upon my new favorite cheese, Stilton Apricot. I drizzled little bites of this amazing cheese with honey and paired it with chopped dates for the perfect bite!
After that night, I knew I had to do something with this amazing combination of ingredients. The simple thing to do would be to fill the dates with the cheese, wrap them in bacon and drizzle them with honey, very similar to the Bacon Wrapped Dates I prepare on a regular basis. But that was too easy.
I knew I wanted to incorporate bacon into the ingredient list and what goes better with pork than… more pork. That was when I decided to glaze pork chops with honey, then stuff them with the delicious mixture of Stilton Apricot cheese, chopped dates and bacon.
The result was a completely amazing lunch for me and my friend Ruby!
2 pork chops
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp mustard powder
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped dates
4 slices bacon (fried until crisp and chopped)
1/4 cup Stilton apricot cheese
Start by glazing the pork chops. The video below will guide you with step by step instructions.
After 15 minutes in the oven, remove, flip the pork chops and baste with the rest of the honey glaze.
While the pork chops are in the oven, prepare the stuffing mixture in a small bowl by combining the dates, bacon and cheese. I also drizzled an additional tsp of honey into the mix to help bind the ingredients and for a little extra honey flavor!
Once the pork chops have been basted with the honey glaze on both sides and cooked for 15 minutes each remove them from the oven and place on a cutting a board.
Allow to cool enough to handle or use a pair of tongs to hold the pork chop in place while slicing through the center to stuff. Slice the pork chop through the middle while keeping the edges in tact..
Stuff with the bacon, cheese mixture.
Place the pork chops back into the cast iron skillet and into the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly melted.
Remove the pork chops from the skillet. Heat the honey glaze in the bottom of the skillet on the stove top over high heat to reduce.
Once the glaze comes to a boil and reduces by half, brush the mixture on top of the pork chops and serve.
There was extra cheese and bacon mixture leftover, so I put a little on top, there can never be too much cheese and bacon!
These were the most juicy and flavorful pork chops I’ve ever eaten and made for a perfect lunch paired with sautéed kale and fresh lemonade!
Pulling up to the Caprino Royale farm is like pulling into an adult petting zoo. We were greeted at the door with a glass of wine, excited doggies, chickens running everywhere, cock-a-doodle-doing roosters and a 10 day old baby goat.
Now that is my kind of welcoming!
Although I grew up in Oklahoma, we were definitely more city folk than country folk, there were no goats, cows, pigs or roaming buffaloes in our back yard.
The closest thing we had to wildlife were some goldfish I bought at Walmart!
When I started planning my “Summer Blogging Adventure” I knew I wanted to take some time in Oklahoma and Texas to see where the meat and dairy I was consuming came from.
I was given my first opportunity to do so when I met Eric Tippit. I knew it was meant to be, when he told me his farm was named after the James Bond movie Casino Royale. My name is Whitney Bond y’all! Eric invited me out to his farm and the rest is goat milking history!
It’s amazing how much your level of appreciation for food rises after visiting a farm. There are about 1,000 components that go into making that little block of goat cheese for your favorite dish.
From feeding the goats to milking the goats to turning that milk into cheese and the hundred things that come in-between each one, these farmers are working around the clock, 365 days out of the year to make the cheese we all love so much!
At Caprino Royale, husband and wife team Eric and Karen are taking things to a whole new level with the time and love they give to their goats.
As a consumer of food, we should all know where our food is coming from and what we’re putting in our bodies.
I believe in eating meat and dairy, I’m not a vegetarian or vegan. With that said, I do believe in buying local meat and dairy from farmers that treat their animals with love and respect. I believe you can taste the love put into the animals, just how you can taste the love I put into all of the dishes I create! And if love is a key ingredient in great cheese, than Caprino Royale may just have the best cheese out there!
Each goat is called by name and fed and milked individually twice a day, yeah that’s 24 goats each given individual love and attention = 5 hours of milking and feeding a day!
That’s 35 hours per week, that’s 1,825 hours per year, just for the milking and feeding, we haven’t even gotten to the actual cheese making yet!
While I was at the farm they let me attempt to milk one of the goats… and this happened!
Well now that we’ve all had a good laugh for the day, lets meet some of my farm favorites!
This little guy was only 10 days old and so sweet!
He was so cute and playful, I could have just hung with him all day and been so happy… but he needed his rest!
While he rested, the other kids came to play!
And for my favorite picture of the day…
Thank you so much to Karen and Eric for introducing me to all the goats and a special thanks to Cachet the goat for allowing me to attempt my first goat milking experience on her!
What an exciting moment, the first check off the bucket list, and I couldn’t imagine a better one to start with!
As I flew back to my hometown of Edmond, Oklahoma on Sunday evening, my good friend and fellow crazed sports fan, Bradie, booked a plane ticket for her first trip to the great state of Oklahoma to help me complete my first bucket list item!
She flew in Monday morning and the first item of business was well under way, get that girl some Thunder gear! Five shirts later, my Mom, myself and Bradie all had new Thunder gear for the game that night!
I ended up wearing four different Thunder shirts throughout the day! (Can you say wardrobe change much?!)
Following the Thunder shirt shopping spree Bradie and I headed straight for my favorite restaurant in OKC, Ted’s Cafe Escondido for the best frozen sangria I’ve ever had!
We then headed down to “Thunder Alley” which takes place before and during all Thunder games directly in front of the stadium. They have bounce houses and games for kids, plenty of photo ops and of course mingling with fellow Thunder fans!
After meeting up with some friends, getting our tickets and pre-gaming, it was time to Thunder Up, and they don’t call it “Loud City” for nothing! The stadium was rocking all night!
I have to say that it is SO fun to be the fan of a team whose city is behind them 110%, you can barely go a block in OKC right now without seeing a Thunder flag, shirt, banner or painted building supporting the team!
Thunder pulled out a huge win over the Lakers to win the Round Two series 4:1 and advance to the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.
I am so excited that I actually get to check this bucket list item off TWICE because my good friend Garrick is taking me to Game 3 in OKC on Thursday night! Can’t wait to Thunder Up again in Loud City!
This also means I need another Thunder shirt… or 4 😉
Following up from yesterdays post announcing my Summer Adventure Plan, this is my tentative summer schedule!
If I’m coming to a city near you, contact me! If I should go somewhere that’s not on the schedule, let me know! Tell me who to interview and what fun events are in your city, as well as where to eat and who to meet!
This post will be changing and evolving as I add new cities, events and interviews, so check back regularly to see what I’m up to!
May 19: Depart Los Angeles
May 19-20: San Diego, California
May 21-23: Edmond, Oklahoma
May 24-25: Dallas, Texas
May 26- June 7: Edmond, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma
Interviews: The stars of YouTube video sensation “Beard Like Harden”
Events: June 1 – My Big Brothers 30th Birthday Celebration
June 8- June 10: Houston, Texas
June 11: Waco, Texas
Interviews: Caprino Royale Goat Farm
June 12 – 27: Edmond, Oklahoma
June 28- July 2: New York City, New York
July 3 – July 7: Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
July 8- 11: Boston, Massachusetts
July 12-27: San Diego, California
Events: July 18 – Opening Day at the Races, Del Mar, CA